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Infrasonic Quartet and AKG K701 - external amp needed?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I'm using an Infrasonic Quartet sound card, which I chose for its MIDI capabilities and low price. My current headphones are AKG 530's. I'm quite happy with the sound when listening to music and/or gaming, but when playing my digitalpiano I feel the sound is kinda blurry at times. Now I'm considering ordering a pair of AKG K701's, but being a newbie I'm not sure if the sound card is enough to drive them properly. Do you think I'm fine using that combination or do I need to look at an external amp?

There's a chart with its specs if you scroll down on this site: http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/proaudio/infrasonic-quartet.html

If it matters, I mostly listen to rock. The 530's generally sound good to me, I don't need more bass or something like that. Gaming sound isn't that important to me/fine as it is, so that's not a factor I need to look at. I'm grateful for any advice.
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundedge View Post

Hi guys,

I'm using an Infrasonic Quartet sound card, which I chose for its MIDI capabilities and low price. My current headphones are AKG 530's. I'm quite happy with the sound when listening to music and/or gaming, but when playing my digitalpiano I feel the sound is kinda blurry at times. Now I'm considering ordering a pair of AKG K701's, but being a newbie I'm not sure if the sound card is enough to drive them properly. Do you think I'm fine using that combination or do I need to look at an external amp?

There's a chart with its specs if you scroll down on this site: http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/proaudio/infrasonic-quartet.html

If it matters, I mostly listen to rock. The 530's generally sound good to me, I don't need more bass or something like that. Gaming sound isn't that important to me/fine as it is, so that's not a factor I need to look at. I'm grateful for any advice.

Just a heads up, if you live in the US, the Q701s are piratically the same headphone with the quincy jones name on it, but they are cheaper (I am guessing it is because the K701s are not in production any more and have been replaced by the K702s).

But that will save you a couple bucks. thumb.gif

As for the headphone amp, yes you will be better off with a headphone amp. Do you "need" one to listen to music? No. But your music will sound significantly better with a headphone amp.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the answer. Unfortunately the Q701's are 270 € here in Germany, while the K701's are 200 €. But nice tip for people in the US smile.gif

I read that the amp impedance should be 1/8th or less of the headphone impedance. The AKG K701's are 62 ohm. But for the Quartet it says "Load Impedance, 32 ~ 600 ohm" - what does that mean? I'm a bit confused.
Edited by soundedge - 2/17/13 at 11:00am
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundedge View Post

Thanks for the answer. Unfortunately the Q701's are 270 € here in Germany, while the K701's are 200 €. But nice tip for people in the US smile.gif

I read that the amp impedance should be 1/8th or less of the headphone impedance. The AKG K701's are 62 ohm. But for the Quartet it says "Load Impedance, 32 ~ 600 ohm" - what does that mean? I'm a bit confused.

International markets are so confusing.

Load impedance just means it can handle headphones with an impedance between 32-600 ohms. Which to me is a lie because I have had several sound cards that say the same thing, and dedicated amps are much better for the K701s or in my case the Q701s.

Also, please keep in mind that there is a LOT more to impedance than just the ohm rating. But it simply isn't important for you to clutter your head with that info. As long as you have a decent amp, you will bypass impedance all together.

Try looking at the audio engine D1 dac/amp. It is a nice little device, at a pretty decent price.....here in the US of course. They seem to be about the same price over seas as well, so you might get lucky thinking.gif
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Yin&Yang
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I see - I tried googling which headphone amp would be a good fit for my setup, but there were so many suggestions. And to be honest, I don't get the technical explanations at all. I'm very glad that you cleared that up for me.

The cheapest Audioengine D1 I can get here goes for 180 €, which would be a steep price for me. How do you think the Fiio E9 would compare to the D1? It's around 120 € here. From what I've gathered, an E9 is considered to be the bare minimum for the K/Q701's. I don't suppose I can get away with anything cheaper?

Also, soldering/modding isn't feasible for me due to lack of knowledge and equipment... I'd rather not take the risk.

Sorry for troubling you.
Edited by soundedge - 2/18/13 at 2:26pm
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